You can't multi-task speaking and
listening. If you're talking, you're not
listening. This rule also applies to the talking inside your
head. If you're thinking intently about what you want to say,
you're not listening to what is being said.
Rule #2: Create a Space
Create a physical space. Focus on reacting and responding
to the speaker. Create, too, a space in your mind for
what the speaker has to say. Create a space between your
thoughts. Think of
as a form of
meditation. Quiet your mind and focus your attention on
Rule #3: Hold Your Judgments
How often we have passionately expressed a gut reaction only to
become turned around and regret what we said after hearing
more of the facts? Allow for a thoughtful pause between
reacting, a space in which to ask yourself, "Do I have the whole
Communication: Yin-Yang Balance
Rule #4: Don't Be a Label Reader
People are unique. We tend to create labels like Liberal, Dead
Head, Wise Guy, and think we know what's inside. Suddenly, we
believe we know everything about someone, but they are
not really all alike.
A Short Course in
Rule #5: Open Your Mind
While we may not consciously feel the need to be right, we tend
to have certain ideas about reality and feel groundless when
they're threatened. Groundless now and then isn't a bad thing.
Without it we can't break new ground or find common ground; it's
okay to be unsure.
Wise Negotiation DOs and DON'Ts
10 Great Communication Quotes
When someone is
speaking, focus. If you're paying attention,
you'll likely be showing signs of focus
– such as making eye contact – without thinking about it at all.
Below are some of the ways we
show we're listening.
Maintain eye contact. In the US, not making eye contact
has the connotation of someone untrustworthy. But realize, too,
that steady eye contact in some
is considered impolite or aggressive.
Give non-verbal clues. Nod, lean toward the speaker, take
on the general demeanor of someone who is interested.
Encourage the speaker to go on. Especially over the
phone, hearing no response feels like no one is listening.
Don't be a verbal trespasser. A verbal trespasser is one
who interrupts or finishes the speaker's sentences.
Ask open questions. Open questions encourage the
speaker. They elicit a more detailed response than closed
questions. "What" and "Why" are usually helpful starts to open
Summarize. Summarizing is often helpful, especially if
you have had a misunderstanding, are unsure of expectations, or
have just reached an agreement. Ensure that everyone is coming
away with the same idea.
is a technique that can enhance listening: a
picture is worth a thousand words. One way to use visualization
is to visualize what you are being told.
Some people are more visual than others. If visualization is
more a chore than a help, you may not be a visual person. But
anything new takes some adjustment and might take a few tries
before feeling natural.
The first step in remembering names is deciding that they are
important to remember.
Listen when you're told about someone
prior to introductions. Repeat the names when you are
introduced. Make associations to remember names.
Going into a listening situation with questions in your mind
will help you remember and, often, put information into the
framework of your existing knowledge. Listen to
and be quick to clarify assumptions if you are
unsure or are getting a negative message.
Observe. Listen. Ask.
We must be aware of the speaker, aware of verbal and
non-verbal cues, and aware of our own listening strengths and challenges.
Know When To
Break the Rules
If it's hard to start
and something mindless that
engages a connection can bring you together, go for it!
Wise Listening: Three Levels
People Skills 360